Editor Picks: Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Cork

by Allie d'Almo  |  Published May 17, 2021

Ireland’s second city is a vibrant metropolis, combining traditional Irish charm with a lively, rebellious spirit. It’s famous for its festivals, food markets and warm welcomes, as well as miles of enchanting countryside, which begins just outside the city walls. 

Cork is one of Ireland’s oldest and largest cities. Home to a myriad of creative eateries, burgeoning art scene and a thrumming nightlife, it’s a popular destination all year round – and a must-visit on any tour of the Emerald Isle. The best hotels mimic the city’s charms, with nods to its multi-layered history, innovative dining and bars, and bold design. From boutique city centre getaways to rambling manor houses on the city’s edge, here are three of the best luxury and boutique hotels in Cork. 

Hayfield Manor 

Hayfield Manor is mere minutes away from Cork’s bustling city centre, but it feels world’s away. The Georgian-style property was only built a little over 20 years ago, but it exudes period charm, from its oak double-wing staircase to its intricately carved marble fireplaces. There’s nothing fusty about the amenities though, boasting a 16-metre pool with personal training available to book with former Olympian Gillian O’Sullivan, a boutique spa and an outdoor hot tub.  The bedrooms are even more sumptuous, decorated in gold and white, with a 32” flat-screen television, rolltop bathtubs and views of either the Georgian gardens or Cork City. From £303 per room, per night.

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The River Lee Hotel 

(Photo: River Lee Hotel)

The River Lee Hotel offers a different kind of 5-star luxury experience at its sleek, steel premises on the edge of the River Lee. Light-filled rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, with views of either the river or the city. Thoughtful touches, like underfloor heating and down-filled duvets, go a long way too.  The leisure facilities are unrivalled, with a 20-metre pool, whirlpool and sauna, as well as a state-of-the-art gym offering complimentary exercise classes. A New York-inspired River Club serves up creative cocktails and a dynamic menu with locally sourced, sustainable produce. Expect smooth, sparkling service, with a 24-hour concierge available too. Rooms from £150 per room, per night.

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The Imperial Hotel Cork 

A beloved local landmark, the Imperial Hotel Cork also has a grand past. It was built in 1813 on the South Mall, one of the city’s oldest and picturesque streets. Everyone from Charles Dickens and Liszt to George Best and Angela Lansbury has walked through its doors, so you’ll be in good company. Inside it’s as stately as you’d expect, with crystal chandeliers, stuccoed ceilings and marble floors. Its 125 rooms are well-appointed, with upholstered headboards and crisp linen, luxurious toiletries and fluffy bathrobes. The Escape Spa offers an extensive range of Voya and Aveda treatments for weary limbs too. From £115 per room, per night.

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